Cook'kareku, the 24-hour breakfast restaurant on the Garden Ring, has won the 2015 Russian edition of the Palmes de la Restauration, an international award for restaurant concepts, in a ceremony that took place earlier this month at the upscale ICON club at Krasny Oktyabr.
The prize, called palmovoi vetvi, or palm branches, was judged on the basis of the creativity and originality of the concept, whether or not the concept can be replicated elsewhere, management of human resources, design and atmosphere, as well as commercial viability.
Alexey Berzin opened Cook'kareku, which is on the Sadovoye Koltso near Barrikadnaya metro station, late last year with Alexander Rappoport, the restaurateur behind Doctor Zhivago and Kitaiskaya Gramota.
The menu offers a 30-percent discount on food from countries where it is breakfast time at the time of ordering, so when it is between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. in the country in question. Between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Moscow time, it is deemed “breakfast time” in France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Scandinavia, while the restaurant's Thai breakfast is discounted between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.
“The concept of Cook'kareku is contained in just one phrase: At any given time, someone, somewhere is having breakfast,” Alexander Rappoport told the Global Business Channel. “The breakfasts are also well thought-out — we thought up a cafe where breakfasts are served 24 hours a day, with some of the most interesting culinary concepts from all over the world.”
"From 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. we have breakfasts from Moscow, Tambov, Arkhangelsk," said Rappoport, "and then we go on to Paris, English, and onto Chinese, Australian."
The restaurant's funny promo video, which shows different breakfasts being eaten in different foreign films as a Russian actor pops into the restaurant to eat different meals, such as the Russian breakfast — three-egg omelet, lightly fried "Doctorskaya" kolbasa, green onions and ketchup — and the Magadan breakfast — braised cod with potato cream and egg ball.
Second place went to Mark i Lev, a restaurant in the Tulsky region on the banks of the River Oka, which serves only food grown within a 150 kilometers radius. Local, seasonal produce is key, and the owners were inspired by the Moscow ecofood cooperative LavkaLavka, which has branches around the capital. Bronze prize went to Elena Chekalova's restaurant Poekhali, located on Ulitsa Petrovka, which offers up diverse dishes from around the world, including Chinese ratatouille, pike burger and whisky steak with potatoes Dauphinoise.
Palmes de la Restauration was set up in 1993 by Daniel Majonchi, now the president of the International Leaders Club, a restaurant industry society.
The 20th Palmes de la Restauration, where restaurants from all over Europe compete, took place March 30 in Paris, and, like the Cannes Film Festival, a palme d'or, or golden palm, was given to the winner, a silver palm to second place and a bronze palm to third place.
Three palms were also given out in Moscow and Cook'kareku, which won the Moscow palme d'or, will take part in the next Palmes de la Restauration this fall.
“Ten years ago, we decided to create this event and to hold the first palm branch prize-giving ceremony,” Vladimir Zuykov, president of the Leaders Club in Russia told Global Business Channel, “And so Russian restaurants were introduced to Europe for the first time: The first winner was Turandot, and this year will be the prize's 10th anniversary.
Cook'kareku. 9 Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya ulitsa, Bldg 4. Metro Barrikadnaya. Tel. 495 660-5339.
Mark i Lev. Sosnovy Bulvar. Mitino. Zaoksky district. Tulskaya region. Tel. 495 664-7445.
Poyekhali. 30/7 Petrovka ulitsa. Metro Trubnaya / Chekhovskaya. Tel. 495 419 0088.